What is IoT? The internet of Things full explained

What Is IoT

The Internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. The definition of the Internet of Things has evolved because of the convergence of multiple technologies, real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems. Traditional fields of embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, control systems, automation (including home and building automation), and others all contribute to enabling the Internet of Things. within the consumer market, IoT technology is most synonymous with products concerning the concept of the "smart home", including devices and appliances (such as for lighting, thermostats, home security systems, and cameras, and other homes appliances) that support one or more common ecosystems, and might be controlled via devices related to that ecosystem, like smartphones and smart speakers.

IoT characteristics

1. Connectivity - This doesn’t need an excessive amount of further explanation. With everything happening in IoT devices and hardware, with sensors and other electronics and connected hardware and control systems there must be a connection between various levels.

2. Things -  Anything which will be tagged or connected intrinsically as it’s designed to be connected. From sensors and household appliances to tagged livestock. Devices can contain sensors or sensing materials that are often attached to devices and items.

3. Data -  Data is the glue of the Internet of Things, the primary step towards action and intelligence.

4. Communication -  Devices get connected in order that they can communicate data and this data are often analyzed. Communication can occur over short distances or over an extended range to a very long range. Examples: Wi-Fi, LPWA network technologies like LoRa or NB-IoT.

5. Intelligence - The aspect of intelligence as within the sensing capabilities in IoT devices and therefore the intelligence gathered from big data analytics (also artificial intelligence).

6. Action - The consequence of intelligence. this will be manual action, action based upon debates regarding phenomena (for instance in smart factory decisions) and automation, often the most important piece.

7. Ecosystem - The place of the web of Things from a perspective of other technologies, communities, goals, and also the picture in which the Internet of Things fits. the web of Everything dimension, the platform dimension, and the need for solid partnerships.

Applications of IoT

The extensive set of applications for IoT devices is often divided into consumer, commercial, industrial, and infrastructure spaces. A growing portion of IoT devices is created for consumer use, including connected vehicles, home automation, wearable technology, connected health, and appliances with remote monitoring capabilities.

Consumer applications

1. Smart home - IoT devices are a part of the larger concept of home automation, which can include lighting, heating, and air conditioning, media and security systems, and camera systems. Long-term benefits could include energy savings by automatically ensuring lights and electronics are turned off. A smart home or automated home can be based on a platform or hub that controls smart devices and appliances. as an example, using Apple's HomeKit, manufacturers can have their home products and accessories controlled by an application in iOS devices like the iPhone and the Apple Watch. this could be a dedicated app or iOS native applications like Siri. this will be demonstrated within the case of Lenovo's Smart Home Essentials, which is a line of smart home devices that are controlled through Apple's Home app or Siri without the necessity for a Wi-Fi bridge.

2. Eldercare - One key application of a smart house is to provide assistance for those with disabilities and elderly individuals. These home systems use assistive technology to accommodate an owner's specific disabilities. Voice control can assist users with sight and mobility limitations while alert systems are connected directly to cochlear implants worn by hearing-impaired users. they will also be equipped with additional safety features. These features can include sensors that monitor for medical emergencies like falls or seizures. Smart home technology applied in this way can provide users with more freedom and a better quality of life. 

Organizational applications

1. Medical and healthcare - The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is an application of the IoT for medical and health-related purposes, data collection and analysis for research, and monitoring. The IoMT has been referenced as "Smart Healthcare", because the technology for creating a digitized healthcare system, connecting available medical resources and healthcare services.

The application of the IoT in healthcare plays a fundamental role in managing chronic diseases and in disease prevention and control. Remote monitoring is formed possible through the connection of powerful wireless solutions. The connectivity enables health practitioners to capture patient's data and applying complex algorithms in health data analysis.

2. Transportation - The IoT can assist in the integration of communications, control, and data processing across various transportation systems. Application of the IoT extends to all aspects of transportation systems. Dynamic interaction between these components of a transport system enables inter- and intra-vehicular communication, smart control, smart parking, electronic toll collection systems, logistics and fleet management, vehicle control, safety, and road assistance. In Logistics and Fleet Management, as an example, an IoT platform can continuously monitor the situation and conditions of cargo and assets via wireless sensors and send specific alerts when management exceptions occur like delays, damages, thefts, etc.

3. Manufacturing - The IoT can realize the seamless integration of various manufacturing devices equipped with sensing, identification, processing, communication, actuation, and networking capabilities. supported such a highly integrated smart cyber-physical space, it opens the door to make whole new business and market opportunities for manufacturing. Network control and management of producing equipment, asset and situation management, or manufacturing process control bring the IoT within the realm of industrial applications and smart manufacturing also

4. Agriculture - There are numerous IoT applications in farming like collecting data on temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, pest infestation, and soil content. This data is accustomed to automate farming techniques, make informed decisions to enhance quality and quantity, minimize risk and waste, and reduce the effort required to manage crops. as an example, farmers can now monitor soil temperature and moisture from afar, and even apply IoT-acquired data to precision fertilization programs.

IoT as the next stage of the Internet

We could also define IoT because the next stage within the Internet as some do, whereby things and objects with sensors and actuators are connected to the web in order that they can gather, send and obtain data, resulting in smarter solutions and in some cases also influence data. That’s how most folks see it. Wearables are connected and enable us to send and receive data, vehicles get connected, home appliances, industrial assets, street lights, you name it. However, that’s just a part of the story that appears at the what, instead of the why and the way. If you check out the web of Things a touch more thorough you quickly notice that it’s a part of something bigger as we’ll cover.

The Internet of Things isn't a Thing

Although we discuss the Internet of Things as if it were a thing it's many things but also an ecosystem of inevitably related processes and other technologies from the perspective of a goal within a selected use case. It is not almost the connected devices but also about the hardware, software, connectivity and communication protocols, middleware and so much more to make the Internet of Things solutions as mentioned. And it’s also about many processes and technologies (big data, analytics, cloud computing, edge computing and fog computing, IoT platform software, IoT gateways, etc.) which are needed to try and do something with the Internet of Things. it's clear that once we discuss the web of Things within the context of as an example fitness trackers this has little in common with the web of Things as it’s used in industrial settings like smart supply chain management, manufacturing or connected logistics, to provide a few Industrial Internet examples or with the way IoT is employed in smart buildings or smart cities.

Advantages of the Internet of Things

1. Access information - You can easily access data and information that's sitting far away from your location, in real-time. this is often possible due to the network of devices, an individual can access any information sitting from any a part of the world. This makes it very convenient for people to go about their work, even if they're not physically present.

2. Communication - Better communication is possible over a network of interconnected devices, making the communication of devices more transparent, which reduces inefficiencies. Processes, where machines need to communicate with one another, are made more efficient and produce better, faster results. the right example for this is machinery at a manufacturing or production unit.

3. Cost-effective - As mentioned in the point above, communication between electronic devices is made easier due to IoT. This helps people in daily tasks. Transferring data packets over a connected network save time and money. identical data that might take an extended time to transfer can now be done much faster, because of IoT.

Disadvantages of the Internet of Things

1. Privacy & Security - In today’s tech-driven world, each and every device that a person uses is connected via the internet. This increases the chance of any leakage of information that may be important. this is a major drawback of sharing information, as a tip may not be safe & can be hacked by third parties easily.

2. Complexity - A diverse network that connects various devices is what we call IoT. a single loophole can affect the whole system. this is far and away from the most complicated aspect of the Internet of Things which will have an incredible effect.

3. Lesser jobs - With every task being automated, the need for human labor will reduce drastically. this may have a direct impact on employability. As we head into the longer term of IoT, there'll be a clear decline in the hiring process of professionals.

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